A NEWCASTLE United delegation headed by Derek Llambias is in France attempting to strike deals for a defender and a striker.
But their chase of Loïc Rémy, Marseille’s France international striker, has become complicated – and the club now fear Harry Redknapp’s QPR have emerged as serious rivals for his signature.
Redknapp is set to meet Marseille officials over the weekend and the presence of several agents has muddied the water for United, who will not become embroiled in a bidding war with other targets on the back burner.
Agent Willy McKay is understood to be working on behalf of Marseille, which makes things more difficult for the Magpies and may tip in the balance of struggling QPR, who are less cash-conscious than Newcastle. But the latter have at least two other high-profile targets to fill the void left by Demba Ba, both based in France.
The purpose of the trip this weekend is to try and step up efforts to recruit first-team players and to strengthen the ranks of the development squad. Money has been set aside to do both in January, and Newcastle hope to add more than just Mathieu Debuchy to their ranks this month.
Debuchy’s signing came on the day Ba finally completed his move to Chelsea, signing a three-and-a-half year deal with the Blues.
The striker said he was happy to get the transfer sorted at the start of the month, because it gives Newcastle time to source a replacement.
After penning the deal, the Senegalese said: “It feels good to be here, I’m very happy and very proud. It was important for me, and for Newcastle, to get my future sorted and now we can move on.
“Now they have the whole month to buy someone and for me as well, the sooner the better.
“When the club who won the Champions League wants you, the decision is very easy. This club is massive and that’s something that helped the decision a lot.”